Welcome back reader, here is Part Two of being Flexible with Work
Here are some more pointers that I have used successfully, and some more of my experiences in the workforce as a felon.
I also attempt to be very up front with companies even if they don’t run background checks. At every single interview, I will bring up the fact that I am a felon, what my conviction was, and what I’ve done since my conviction. Now, half the time, it bites me in the arse. I won’t lie about that either. A good portion of people that were ready to hire me on the spot, immediately withdrew their hand or waved me off impatiently as if I had wasted their time. (No consideration of the expenses I’d made toward fuel for travelling to the interview, my own time, and the often suffocating feeling of defeat they dealt me, mind you.) However, it’s also won over a number of hiring managers, and they’ve been willing to put their arse on the line for me. This technique, a disposition toward being open and honest, has by far given me the most job opportunities. And thanks to the steadily shifting job market, I have had repeated opportunities to test and re-test this method.
As for the jobs that I have held, they include the first post-conviction mystery job (ha, thought I was going to tell didn’t you?), waitressing, bar-tending, and then an intensive dive into the automotive industry. My most stable positions have been in the automotive industry by far, as I personally have the knack for it (all three, [yes, three] parents were aviators and both fathers were mechanics with histories of being mechanics in their heritage). I’ve also found that call centers and transcribing jobs are generally willing to work with felons (thanks to very strict rules within the call centers, so be prepared if that is a strong option for you).
I also highly recommend attempting to get your work history built up through temporary labor agencies. They are not the greatest jobs by far, but they will provide an income, and more importantly an avenue to better jobs to come. The more experience that you can get in a number of jobs, the more you can give to the next job that you really want. Some of the places will require a very intense dedication, as some places get clogged with substance abusers who will start a line at the door at 4 am (when the door doesn’t open until 6 am, just to get the jump on the day’s list of needed workers. And even if you do get in line early, you may not be asked to take a job for over a week, and still have to come into the agency each morning. Other labor agencies will add you to a larger compiled list of possible employees, and once they get to a job that you might be matched with, they will call you. This is a safer investment of time, but may take much longer to find work that works with you.
Now, since the last fluctuation in the automotive job market locally and my first ever lay-off from a job, I’ve been super busy finding a million different ways to free-lance and to be independent of the normal work schedule. Now, Craigslist is a fair option here as well to find and advertise any services you might want to offer, but beware of scammers! (I was hit by one myself, and ended up with a loss of nearly 3k. that I have to pay off)
Between Fiverr gigs (I offer homemade runes, writing research, and psychology based discussion/tutoring), UpWork jobs (typing is a must here as most of it is writing about various things), numerous independent services I offer locally (cleaning, light automotive maintenance, yardwork) , and a part-time driving and stocking job, I can get by on the bills while I further my education in psychology. And along with another special certificate that will be discussed soon (because it’s great for every felon to find their professional niche in their new life) I will be able to gain access to jobs that will pay at least 30 grand a year and can push it even higher depending on how much I put into my work.
I may not have made it to that ultimate tipping point where I know I will be successful, at least in providing for my family the way I want, but I know that I’m working on it. And I have the experiences and the dedication that will push me to that point. I know I won’t give up, and you shouldn’t either.